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Powerful hailstorm hits Colorado, leaving widespread damage

denver-colorado-hailstorm

A severe thunderstorm hit Colorado on Monday, May 8, 2017, dumping hail as large as tennis balls. The storm blanketed the state in a thick layer of ice, leaving widespread damage and traffic delays. Hundreds if not thousands of vehicles and buildings were damaged.

Although most of the hailstones did not exceed the size of golfballs some of them were as big as tennis balls and there are even reports of hail larger than a pool ball.

A severe thunderstorm moved over Denver shortly after 15:00 MDT and was very slow-moving, AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Edwards said. "Since the storm was barely moving, hail piled up several inches, causing widespread travel problems in the metro area."

Air traffic was also impacted as more than 150 flights at Denver international Airport had to be delayed.

Lime-sized hailstones are responsible for closing the Colorado Mills Mall in Lakewood until Wednesday. As many as three inches of water filled most of the mall, forcing security to close the mall and forcing stores to get new inventory, 9NEWS reported. Hundreds of cars in the mall’s parking lot were damaged as well. Baseball-sized holes in the rear windshield were commonplace, while dents were even more so.

There were no reports of injuries.

Thunderstorms and areas of heavy rain are expected through midweek across the Central US where major flooding is ongoing, NWS said.

In the southwest, a slow moving system will continue to produce strong to severe thunderstorms and heavy rain across the High Plains through Tuesday.

On Wednesday, a broad area of heavy rains may bring a renewed potential for flash flooding in rain saturated areas.

Featured image: Downtown Denver covered in a thick layer of ice. Credit: Jon Olafson

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